Blanca Peak and the Sierra Blanca Massif - Colorado

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I visited Monte Vista area over the weekend to see the Sandhill Cranes that are migrating through the San Luis valley.  On Saturday evening, as the birds were beginning to take flight from the local fields where the feed for day to the wetlands where they roost for the night, the sunset began to take on a beautiful color on the clouds and mountains to the east.  We shifted our attentions to the mountain landscape, and caught some of the Sandhill Cranes as they crossed the scene.

At 14,345 feet (4,372 m) Blanca Peak is the highest peak of the Sierra Blanca Massif at the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Range, located in Colorado. It is the fourth highest peak of the Rocky Mountains, and the eighth highest peak in the contiguous United States.

Processing Notes: A five image bracketed set processed with Nik HDR Pro, using their Deep 2 preset.  In Photoshop, the result was overlaid with a single frame from the original bracket set, and the HDR layer’s opacity reduced to 36%.  The exposure of the bird alone was reduced to increase their contract against the sky.  Magenta luminosity slightly reduced to deepen the purple hue a touch.

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